Good morning Dinks. If you are like me then your parents are retired. Well at least one of mine is. My Dad is 60 and he retired almost five years ago and now spends his days playing poker with his friends. My Mom tried to retire once but she didn’t really like it so she went back to work. My Mom is a very structured person so the carefree lifestyle that comes with retirement kind of freaked her out. Are your parents retired?
My parent’s views on retirement, among other things, very drastically. My Dad counted down the days until he could retire. He accepted his last pay check with grace and started collecting his monthly pension. My Mom failed miserably at planning for retirement and she ran right back to the workforce. Her retirement was forced when she lost her job so she didn’t have time to prepare emotionally for the transition. They are two very different people with two very different views on retirement, maybe that’s why they are now divorced.
Planning for retirement with your employer
My Dad worked at the same job for the majority of his adult life. It was a union job that gave him a good salary, full benefits, paid vacation and a company-paid pension plan in exchange for eight hours of manual labor per day five days a week.
My Dad definitely looked forward to the day he was eligible to retire and he has never looked back. Isn’t that a strange thing to say, eligible to retire? We often talk about retirement as being the time of our lives when we are ready to stop working, but the truth is we can only retire when our money allows us to.
My Dad always says if he didn’t have his company-paid pension he would never have been able to retire. With two kids, a house and two cars there wasn’t a lot of room for retirement savings in my parent’s budget. Money was spent on the kids, monthly expenses and our annual family vacation. Retirement planning just wasn’t in their financial forecast.
The emotions of planning for retirement
When my Mom’s company closed down in 2010 she received a payout package and thought she was ready to retire at 54, but she was wrong. My Mom is the type of woman who wakes up at 7 am on the weekend, so it was hard for her to wake up every day without a schedule. To say she didn’t like it would be an understatement.
The stress of money (or lack of) was also a difficult adjustment for my Mom. She was at home with not much to do. She worried about spending money because she didn’t have a steady pay check coming in every two weeks. She now had to adjust to living on a monthly budget and she didn’t like it. My Mom was bored during her mini retirement. After repainting all the rooms in her house and remodelling the kitchen at her cottage she went back to work.
Maybe when we are planning for retirement we take our spending for granted. While we are working if we over spend a bit we know we will pay it off with our next pay check or we can work some extra hours to gain overtime pay. But what happens when we no longer have that option?
Is your retirement planning based on your age, emotions or your money?
Photo by tahnyakristina